SACS hits SC State with accreditation warnings - - Columbia, South Carolina

SACS hits SC State with accreditation warnings


A regional accreditation agency has given South Carolina State University a warning for failure to comply with their standards of governance, board conflict of interest, and financial stability. 

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools says the warning is in place for 12 months until the board meets again in June 2014. 

At that time, they will review any changes that South Carolina State University may have made to comply with the warning.

Other issues cited by the accrediting agency include failure to comply with their standards on control of finances, control of sponsored research, and external funds.

SACS is concerned with SCSU's finances, what they call a conflict of interest on the school's board, and how the college is governed.
"We take all accreditation matters seriously, because it is the heart of the institution," said University President Thomas Elzey. "But, it is not so serious as to suggest that we might lose our accreditation."

Elzey said correcting the issues will take time, but he assured they will be fixed, and fixed right.

"We committed to fixing them in a comprehensive manner, in a way that assures that there will be no further question about our accreditation," he said.

Elzey said one of the concerns deals with last year's budget. Not only does he have to get those fixed, the school still has to lock in a budget for next year. He said the school is not in trouble.

"I see that we're going to have to become more strategic with thinking," said Elzey. "That means thinking on a multi-year basis and not running from crisis to crisis. I wouldn't characterize it as trouble. I characterize it as challenges. "

SACS will review the school again in June of 2014.  SC State has until then to make their changes.

Copyright 2013 WIS. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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